Stetson (3-7) vs. Akron (6-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 22nd, 5:15 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: South Point Hotel Events Center (4,600) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: Stetson 1-2, Akron 3-1. Away Record: Stetson 2-4, Akron 2-3. Neutral Record: Stetson 0-1, Akron 1-0. Conference Record: Stetson 1-1, Akron 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: For the first-time ever Stetson and Akron will meet on the hardwood when the Hatters and Zips battle in the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic at the South Point Hotel Events Center.
The Hatters opened this tournament with a tough, 66-63 loss to Rice. It was the third straight loss for Stetson, which has now dropped seven of its last nine games, since opening the year with a win over Wake Forest on the road.
As for the Zips, they defeated Arkansas-Little Rock on Tuesday for their second straight win. Akron has found it tough to really get things going, and before this modest two-game winning streak the team was a mediocre 4-4 on the season.
Stetson kept the game close against Rice on Tuesday, but could never get over the hump, and the reason for the slim loss was the team's inability to find consistency on offense. The Hatters shot just 40.7 percent from the floor, and that included a poor 6-of-24 clip from behind the arc. Corey Walden, who is netting 10.7 ppg on the season, led the way in the loss with 15 points, while Aaron Graham tallied 13 points. Ridge Graham finished with just 12 points, but the forward dealt with foul trouble, and played just 15 minutes. Despite the less than stellar performance, Ridge Graham has been the best player on the floor for Stetson, as the big man is leading the team with 15.5 ppg and 6.8 rpg.
The Zips were clearly too much for Arkansas-Little Rock on Tuesday, as they put on an offensive clinic, en route to a convincing win. Akron shot a cool 50.0 percent from the floor, and also connected on 11-of-21 attempts from behind the arc.Darryl Roberts led the way for Akron with 16 points, while Zeke Marshall, who is posting 10.6 ppg on the year, finished with a double-double of 14 points and 16 rebounds. Brett McClanahan (11.6 ppg) contributed 14 points in the win, while Alex Abreu chipped in 10 points. Nikola Cvetinovic comes into tonight's game averaging team highs in scoring (13.0) and rebounding (6.4), but against UALR the big man finished with only eight points on 3-of-10 shooting.
The Zips looked very tough against Arkansas-Little Rock, and should put forth a similar effort against Stetson this evening.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Akron 75, Stetson 58
12/22 10:43:35 ET